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Managing Social Media Risks in Your Organization

In today’s competitive business world, you need to focus on social media marketing to build your brand and achieve your business objectives. However, as you delve into marketing, it is important to know the data risks that come with using different social media platforms.

The marketing department should work hand-in-hand with IT to identify threats and other security pitfalls that the organization may be exposed to through social media marketing.

Managing Social Media Risks in Your Organization

As you work hard to create an awesome brand on sites like Facebook, you should also be a step ahead of hackers that may be trying to infiltrate your systems to get access to your social media accounts. Below are some potential risks you should be aware of to keep your social media data safe.



User Authorization

The recent Facebook vulnerability exposed over 50 million accounts to potential access by hackers. If you are using Facebook or any other social media platform, you should be at terms with the reality that your data is at risk.

Facebook identified the user authorization flaw and patched it. However, we do not know whether other vulnerabilities were identified, which the social media giant may not have revealed. Moreover, if you use other platforms like LinkedIn or different apps that rely on the user authorization method of sign-in, how confident are you that your data is secure?


Phishing is an old-school hacking technique that is, unfortunately, still being used today. However, hackers are keeping up with technology. Today, instead of targeting emails, hackers have moved to messenger applications.

If you use messenger applications to communicate with your customers, your brand may be at risk. For example, hackers can target the customers that have expressed interest in your company (for example, by liking your Facebook page) and send malware-filled messages to them through messenger applications. When the unsuspecting customers open the messages, they can end up on fake websites that look real and expose sensitive data. Be on the lookout for conversations from customers that may indicate your brand is being abused by hackers.

Weak Passwords

Using weak passwords for your corporate social media accounts puts your data at risk. Hackers can use various password-cracking applications to compromise and take over your social media accounts. To avoid your data getting compromised, set strong passwords across all devices that you use to access your social media accounts.

Why You Should Manage Social Media Risk

Most organizations have security protocols with regards to devices that employees may bring along to use at work. However, the security measures in most Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies do not directly address the social media platforms that may be accessed through the devices.

The social media marketing employees should work with IT to keep secure organizational data.

IT should educate the marketing team of the potential security loopholes that result from using third-party applications for social media marketing. While developers go to great lengths to secure their applications, a zero-day vulnerability can be abused and give malicious hackers access to your social media data.

How to Mitigate Social Media Risks

There are three strategies you can implement to ensure your social media data is secure:

Social Media Policy

Implement a social media marketing strategy that addresses security issues to be expected. The strategy should cover things such as:

  • How to handle security breaches
  • How to respond to social media crises
  • Guidelines for interacting with the public
  • Employee clearance on accessing customer lists
  • Password security management

The social media marketing department and IT teams should come up with robust strategies that will mitigate potential security breaches.


All employees that manage the company’s social media accounts should undergo IT data security training. The last thing you want is for your organization to be held ransom by a hacker, or your brand to be eroded by malicious third parties by using your customers’ data.

Employees should be aware of the latest social media threats and how they can be avoided. This information should be provided on an as-needed basis. Regular refresher social media security training should also be encouraged.


If multiple employees manage the company’s social media communications across different platforms, you should create a chain of command for viewing activities. There are various monitoring tools that can track employee activities on different platforms.

Carrying out due diligence on the information that your employees share on social media is part of data risk management. A simple phishing link tweeted by your employee can expose the whole organization to outside threats.

Use Social Media Risk Management Software

Most data risk management applications have workflows that can track vulnerabilities in your social media accounts. These tools can be integrated with existing cybersecurity software to provide a bird’s eye view of the organization’s data security status.



Guest Contributor

Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Learn more at ReciprocityLabs.com.

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